Thursday, March 25, 2010

Using a Sermon for Spiritual Growth

Growing Into Christ, and Christ Growing Into You.

Did you know that the weekly message from Covenant is almost always available in print the following week and usually posted to the internet by Sunday afternoon, and sometimes the prayers, too?

Take advantage of these offerings and grow into Christ, so that Christ can grow into you.

That reading should be one of the principle avenues for spiritual growth comes as no surprise. Words are at the center of the Christian faith.

By words, God created the heavens and the earth.
By words, God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses and via the many words of theTorah, God shaped his people into a nation.
When Jesus came to us, he was and is the Word of God.
With words, Jesus healed and helped and challenged and chastised; with words he offered comfort and guidance, counsel and wisdom.
With words, he invites fishermen to become disciples.
With words, he infuriates the temple officials.
With words, he gives us God!

Words, words and more words.

We are a creature of words. By words, we understand our world, and with words, we shape our world.

With words, we tell someone, “I love you.”
And though we might show our love a thousand different ways, the beloved longs to hear those three magic words.

We are creatures of the Word.

So, by the Word, we grow into Christ and Christ grows into us.

One of the simplest avenues of growth is the preaching of the church.
Hearing the Word of God read and proclaimed.
And in many a church, the message of the day is available.

As in our case, in print or via blogsite.

Other churches offer video or audio.

Take advantage of these resources to keep on growing in Christ.

Pick up the message the following week or go to the internet, and print it out, if you can.
Read the Scripture of the day and then read the message.
Read it aloud if you can.
Use a pen to underline.
Talk to it, question it, ponder it.
And if you want, call me, talk to me. I’m always game for a cup of coffee or a hamburger!

Some churches have study groups around the Sunday message.
Think of it as an outreach tool.
Invite people into your home to study the message of the day.
Read Scripture aloud to one another and ask questions.
It’s a tool to grow into Christ so that Christ can grow into us.

Most preachers, including this one, work pretty hard to produce a good message. Some Sundays are better than others, no doubt, but every message reveals the heart and the soul of the preacher and the preacher’s desire to say something important about God, and what God means for us.

So, keep on growing into Christ, and Christ will keep on growing into you.


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